Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources
Flood Protection/Land Use – Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley
AB 747 (Eggman) – Support
Chapter 152 – Statutes of 2015
AB 747, by Assembly Member Susan Eggman and co-sponsored by San Joaquin County and the City of Stockton, was recently signed by the Governor. This measure addresses an outstanding issue concerning the implementation of SB 5 (Machado, Chapter 364, Statutes of 2007) — one of a six-bill flood protection package signed into law in 2007.
As enacted by SB 5, cities and counties within the Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley are prohibited from entering into a development agreement, approving any permit, entitlement or subdivision map in an urban and urbanizing area unless the city or county makes a finding that ensures the attainment of, or progress towards, a 200-year level of flood protection. This provision, because of the mere placement of a comma in statute, is now being interpreted to require a finding of 200-year flood protection for all discretionary permits, whether or not a project results in increased flood risk. For example, installations of drive-through windows in fast food restaurants and the construction of cell phone towers would be subject to the 200-year flood protection finding.
AB 747 amends the trigger for requiring a 200-year finding for discretionary permits to only those which would result in the construction of a new building, or an increase in allowed occupancy for an existing building.
Fire Protection/Land Use
AB 644 (Wood) – Support
AB 644, by Assembly Member Jim Wood and sponsored by Humboldt County, was sent to the Governor on August 26. This measure would make changes to the subdivision approval process in areas located in a state responsibility area (SRA) or a very high fire hazard severity zone. Specifically, AB 644 would create an exemption for proposed subdivisions that are currently used for resource management or open space and are to remain used for such purposes once the subdivision is complete. The bill would ensure that no new residential structures will be permitted until the property undergoes the finding process of the Subdivision Map Act.
SB 226 (Pavley) – Removed Opposition
AB 1390 (Alejo) – Removed Opposition
SB 226 by Senator Fran Pavley and AB 1390 by Assembly Member Luis Alejo were recently amended to address separate components of a single groundwater adjudication proposal. SB 226 now includes related and necessary changes to the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) and provides for state intervention in groundwater adjudications. It also addresses how adjudications in high- and medium-priority basins would be accommodated within SGMA without changing any of the policies inherent within SGMA. AB 1390 would address all the procedural aspects of an accelerated adjudication process. CSAC and the Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC) were opposed to SB 226 and AB 1390 but succeeded in obtaining amendments to both bills that resulted in the two organizations removing their opposition. CSAC now has a “watch” position on both bills. SB 226 is pending on the Assembly Floor and AB 1390 is pending on the Senate Floor.
Weights & Measures
AB 296 (Dodd) – Support
Chapters 133, 2015
AB 296, by Assembly Member Bill Dodd, was signed by the Governor. This bill extends the sunset from January 2016, to January 2019 of the provision of law that allows a county board of supervisors the authority to charge fees to recover the costs associated with the inspection of weighing and measuring devices.
SB 350 (De Leon) – No position
As Amended July 16, 2015
SB 350, by Senator De Leon, would codify the Governor’s Executive Order to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by reducing the state’s petroleum use from cars by 50%, increasing the use of electricity coming from renewable sources to 50%, and increasing efficiency in our buildings by 50%. The author’s office continues to regularly meet with the numerous stakeholder groups on the detailed provisions of this bill. Topics under discussion include, but are not limited to: a) addressing RPS concerns of small publicly-owned utilities; b) revisions to transportation electrification provisions; c) revisions to the existing RPS framework; d) ensuring the fair treatment of all retail sellers in RPS enforcement; e) revising provisions within the existing RPS regarding banking and short- and long-term contracts; f) adjustments to the energy efficiency provisions; and g) adjustments to the petroleum reduction provisions. CSAC learned of proposed amendments yesterday that would have negatively impacted the abilities of Community Choice Aggregators (CCA) to operate. Negotiations between the Investor Owned Utilities (IOUs), the author’s office and CCA proponents are underway and agreement is expected to be reached soon on this provision of the bill. While CSAC is closely following this bill, we have not taken an official position in support or opposition.